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View Diary: Breaking: Perry Stops Today's Texas Execution! (updated) (152 comments)

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  •  I disagree (1+ / 0-)
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    marykk

    I do not think that the concept of felony murder is an offense against justice.  For one, it is not just any felony that must be committed for felony murder to apply.  Typically, the felony must be some offense that involved a high risk of danger to potential victims, such as armed robbery, arson, or planting a bomb.  When you get involved in commiting one of these felonies, it can come to no surprise to you when someone is killed, whether you intended them to die or not.  Legally, what happens is that the intent to commit the underlying felony is used to satisfy the intent element for murder.  

    In this case, Mr. Foster had been involved in several armed robberies before the one that killed Mr. LaHood.  He intended for the armed robbery to occur.  The fact that someone might be killed as a result should not have been a surprise to him.  Without a felony murder statute, he is only guilty of armed robbery.  Is a conviction for armed robbery alone justice for what Mr. Foster did? I don't think so.  

    Only by following our leaders blindly can we truly be free-Major Frank Burns

    by squid696 on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 01:10:45 PM PDT

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    •  That's not murder. (1+ / 0-)
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      State Department

      it can come to no surprise to you when someone is killed,

      "comes as no surprise" that someone is killed isn't murder.  It's the standard for manslaughter, at most, not capital murder.  That's the entire point of felony murder: the intent is lacking, and he is only guilty of armed robbery, since that's all he did and all he intended to do, or, if someone can prove the requisite intent for manslaughter, manslaughter as well.  

      Read Obama's 2002 speech against invading Iraq. http://usliberals.about.com/od/extraordinaryspeeches/a/Obama2002War.htm

      by Inland on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 01:35:11 PM PDT

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      •  The intent was to commit armed robbery (0+ / 0-)

        Manslaughter statutes are designed to punish reckless acts that lead to a death where the perpetrator was engaged in risky behavior but had no intent to do harm to the victim.  I don't think that is the case here because he did intend to do the acts that he did and he did intend to do harm to Mr. La Hood.  It may not have been the harm that he envisioned, but it is one that he should have foreseen.  

        Felony murder statutes are designed to cover instances when there was a clear intent to do harm and a person is killed as a result.  In this case, the intenstional act was armed robbery.  The specific harm that occurred was, apparently, not the harm that Mr. Foster intended, but he did intend to do harm.  Doing an act intended to harm someone and having the result being worse than you intended is not being reckless, it is committing an intentional act.

        I agree with you that what Mr. Foster did should not be capital murder, but it was murder, not manslaughter.

                       

        Only by following our leaders blindly can we truly be free-Major Frank Burns

        by squid696 on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 02:48:33 PM PDT

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        •  So... (0+ / 0-)

          I don't think that is the case here because he did intend to do the acts that he did

          and he didn't pull the trigger and he didn't kill anybody.  his intentional act was an armed robbery, and I think everyone admits that in this case he was surprised by the murder.  If that's not the case, then let the prosecutor prove it.  

          Read Obama's 2002 speech against invading Iraq. http://usliberals.about.com/od/extraordinaryspeeches/a/Obama2002War.htm

          by Inland on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 04:02:43 PM PDT

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          •  ? (0+ / 0-)

            Explain to me how you can be surprised when someone is killed during an armed robbery?  It may not have made a difference to him whether his partner killed the guy or not, but he knew the guy had the gun.  If he didn't want the victim killed, he could have told him to not use a gun or to take out the bullets, but he didn't do that.  

            By the way, he didn't hold the gun on the guy, either.  Does that mean he wasn't guilty of armed robbery, either?  

            Only by following our leaders blindly can we truly be free-Major Frank Burns

            by squid696 on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 05:11:38 PM PDT

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            •  well, again, you're mixing a lot of different (0+ / 0-)

              things.  "Not being surprised" isn't the intent required for a murder.  Murder means you wanted to kill someone or simply didn't care whether someone lived or died.  I'm not surprised when a drunk driver kills somebody.  But it's not murder.

              Also, the concept that intent would be easy to prove means that someone should just prove it, rather than have a rule that says that nobody has to prove intent.  We all know why felony murder exists: to put a capital crime on someone for whom murder can't otherwise be proven.

              Basically, you're putting someone to death based on an armed robbery plus a murder committed by someone else.  That's not justice.

              Read Obama's 2002 speech against invading Iraq. http://usliberals.about.com/od/extraordinaryspeeches/a/Obama2002War.htm

              by Inland on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 07:46:29 PM PDT

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              •  That's your definition of murder (0+ / 0-)

                Texas and many other States, by definition, have a differnt concept.  However, I don't mean to digress from the original topic of whether felony murder statutes are unjust.  I beg to differ, but I don't think they are unjust.  When people conspire to commit a violent act togather, it is my opinion that they cannot escape liability for the actions of their cohorts just becxause they did not intend the specific acts that their cohorts committed.  Once you get a violent criminal act going, anything can happen.  You have to realize that before you begin.  You are not just being reckless, you are intentionally choosing to take a path that could lead to someone being killed.  The felony murder statutes are intended to let potential conspirators know that if they commit a violent act, such as armed robbery, and their co-conspirator kills someone, they will be held responsible.  I don't have a problem with that.  

                FYI, in Texas not all murders are capital offenses.  There is murder and capital murder.  Murder is a first-degree felony in which you can get life.  Felony murder does qualify for capital murder.  That is why I said that I believe that I said that I think it is murder.  I don't think that it should be capital murder.  I am against the death penalty anyway, but the death penalty will be here in Texas long after I am gone.      

                Only by following our leaders blindly can we truly be free-Major Frank Burns

                by squid696 on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 08:49:25 PM PDT

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